Thor: Love and Thunder is the best franchise debut

After four films, Thor is still making the box office smash.

Thor: Love and Thunder earned $143 million in its North American opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. It’s a franchise best suited to the god of thunder and another success story of the summer 2022 box office season.

The second Thor movie, directed by Taika Waititi, opened to 4,375 screens this weekend starting with Thursday’s previews. It easily topped the box office, beating Minions: The Rise of Gru in second place. Including international screenings, with “Love and Thunder” opening in 47 territories as of the middle of last week, the worldwide total is already US$302 million.

“This is another home run for Marvel,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst. “It’s unheard of for a Marvel movie not to start at #1.”

The Thor franchise has grown with each subsequent film, which is a rarity in franchise filmmaking in general, but not uncommon for the Marvel franchise either. The first film opened at $65.7 million in 2011, followed by $85.7 million for 2013’s The Dark World and $122.7 million for 2017’s Ragnarok. Waititi, who also directed “Ragnarok” is widely credited with rejuvenating the series, infusing it with humor, irreverence and an oversized metal aesthetic.

Critics were mostly positive, and the Rotten Tomatoes score currently stands at 68, and 53% were between the ages of 18 and 34, according to exit polls. IMAX reported that $23 million of the world total came from their screens.

“Love and Thunder” brings back Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman, whose Jane Foster becomes the Mighty Thor. Russell Crowe also co-stars as Zeus and Christian Bale plays the villain Gorr the God Butcher. It also boasts the largest production budget of the Thor films at reportedly $250 million.

And yet it’s worth noting that Thor: Love and Thunder isn’t even the biggest Marvel opening of the year. That title is held by Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which debuted at $185 million in early May and followed the box office phenomenon Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The Minions took second place with $45.6 million over the second weekend, taking their domestic total to $210.1 million and their worldwide gross to $399.9 million.

Thor love and thunder

The workhorse of the summer, Top Gun: Maverick, took third place in its seventh weekend in cinemas with $15.5 million. With a current domestic gross of $597.4 million, the Tom Cruise film is poised to surpass the $600 million mark by Monday — one of only 12 films to ever do so.

The limited release documentary Fire of Love was released this weekend at three locations and grossed an estimated $22,328, while Claire Denis’ Both Sides of the Blade grossed $25,000 at four locations.

The weekend was expected to end with a total of around $236.1 million, which Dergarabedian called “really impressive.”

“Every week the market gets more prepandemic,” he said. “It feels like a traditional summer movie weekend. That’s a huge difference from a year ago.”

The summer of 2022 box office continues to look good for both Hollywood and theater owners, up 217% from last summer. The full year surpassed $4 billion last week, up 233% year over year, but still lagging 30% behind the last cash year before the pandemic, 2019.

“Audience embraces the cinematic experience with greater enthusiasm,” said Dergarabedian. “Now every segment of the population is interested in going back to the cinema. The challenge for cinemas in the future is to have enough new films.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday in US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. The final domestic figures will be released on Monday.

1. “Thor: Love and Thunder,” $143 million.

2. “Minions: The Rise of Gru”, $45.6 million.

3. “Top Gun: Maverick”, $15.5 million.

4. “Elvis”, $11 million.

5. “Jurassic World: Dominion”, $8.4 million.

6. “The Black Telephone”, $7.7 million.

7. “Lightyear”, $2.9 million.

8. “Marcel the Shell with Shoes,” $340,000.

9. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, $262,000.

10. “Mr. Malcolm’s List”, $245,416.

Leave a Comment